Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline Saturday.
Maryland coach D.J. Durkin worked for Meyer at Bowling Green and Florida. It will be the first meeting between the two, as Durkin is in his first year as a head coach.
“I’m very close with him and I love him to death,” Meyer said. “I love his family. He’s from Youngstown. He’s a great guy, great football coach.”
The bad news for Durkin is that being a former Meyer assistant doesn’t lead to any favors on the field. The Ohio State head coach has outscored his former assistants 117-0 in his two most recent such games. (Those results were a 59-0 win against Wisconsin in 2014 and a 58-0 win against Rutgers in 2016.)
Can Ohio State (8-1, 6-1 Big Ten) hand out that type of beating to Maryland (5-4, 2-4 Big Ten)? The Buckeyes are heavily favored and on a roll after toppling Nebraska, 62-3.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch Ohio State and Maryland.
Ohio State vs. Maryland details
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff
Date: Saturday, Nov. 12
Location: Maryland Stadium, College Park, Md.
Weather: Sunny and 50 degrees at kickoff. No rain.
The line: Ohio State is a 29-point favorite.
What TV channel is the game on?
It will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Where can I watch the game on the internet?
It can be watched online via WatchESPN.
Who is calling the game for ESPN?
Beth Mowins (play-by-play), Anthony Becht (color analyst), Rocky Boiman (sidelines)
Ohio State vs. Maryland keys to the game
1. Ohio State’s level of interest
Ohio State has a much better roster than Maryland. Recruiting rankings show that, as does the point spread. One could also look at the scores of the past two meetings. The Buckeyes won, 52-24, on the road in 2014 and prevailed, 49-28, last season in Columbus.
Given that information, it’s easy to see why Ohio State’s win probability is through the roof. With that being said, the talent gap doesn’t give OSU a free pass. There are still things this team needs to improve on to compete for championships. Sleepwalking through this contest would waste a valuable opportunity to grow.
2. Scripted start
Ohio State’s horrible opening drives finally caused the Buckeyes to examine why they were so ineffective at the start. Since making that an emphasis, Ohio State has opened the game with a touchdown on its first offensive possession in back-to-back games. Previously, the offense had scored just three points on its opening drives in the first seven games. Meyer said his team and staff will continue to look at that. The sharper Ohio State performs from the start, the less likely teams are to hang around.
3. Staying healthy
Injuries are likely the only way Ohio State comes out of this game upset. In order to win a Big Ten championship, the Buckeyes can’t afford to be without key contributors. The ability to rest starters is a big reason why item No. 1 is even more critical. A rout would spare quarterback J.T. Barrett and some of his counterparts from the wear and tear of a four-quarter game.